A Cardboard Box

Today's post is not technically school related, but just a reminder that something can always be made out of nothing. Back when I was taking my Early Childhood courses, I had a professor who always talked about open-ended art rather than giving children coloring sheets or templates. That's something I always try to keep in mind - cookie-cutter projects are cute for a hallway display, but allowing children to have their own interpretation of a project gives them ownership, a chance to learn from mistakes, an opportunity to problem-solve and an outlet for creative thinking.

Around my house we have lots of cardboard boxes. We buy wipes and diapers in bulk from Sam's Club so we have boxes from those, plus boxes of copy paper since I try to pick up a case whenever its on sale (my school only gives me one ream a month). With all these boxes lying around, it was inevitable that sooner or later Sullivan would be placed in one.

His favorite thing is to sit in his well-padded box with a book or two and a sheet thrown over his head - the squealing that ensues is hilarious!

Well, when his sister, Moira, who is 14, saw how much he liked boxes, she decided to make him a "spaceship". This required access to a little bit of spray paint, glue and the debris of my craft closet. She worked for several days on this, tweaking the idea as she encountered difficulties or thought of better ways to do what she wanted. Even at the last minute she was adding things (a plastic egg filled with rice and tied to the dashboard) but finally, on Sunday, she unveiled her creation:


What could our students create if we gave them access to materials and let them at it? Sure, maybe it won't be something that we can display in our hallways, and it might not even turn out to be something that can be displayed at all, but its the act of creating itself that we need to encourage! I challenge you to let your students cut and paste and color and see what happens!  I'm going to be digging out all of my scraps and whatsits and letting my students go to town - I promise to post about the experience later this week!

Remember,  when we allow children room to create and explore, they just might surprise us with something incredible!

3 Rustle Up A Response!:

Miss Trayers said... Reply to comment

How fun! I absolutely agree with you! I even like to let them do projects that way selfishly to see all the different things they can come up with. If they are just cutting and pasting-all the products end up the same. :)

Robin Carrier said... Reply to comment

What a fantastic big sister she is! :)

Kelly said... Reply to comment

Too cute

please email me at kellysavenue@gmail.com

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